Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director general Yury Ganus believes there is a "high probability" World Athletics will expel the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) after the organisation missed a deadline to pay a fine.
RusAF had been set a deadline of Wednesday (July 1) to pay $6.31 million (£5 million/€5.6 million) as part of reinstatement criteria following the nation's doping scandal.
World Athletics fined RusAF $10 million (£8 million/€9 million) in March, in lieu of expelling the suspended organisation outright.
It came after new President Yevgeny Yurchenko accepted the failings of the previous leadership, which included seven RusAF officials - including then-President Dmitry Shlyakhtin - being charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for obstructing an anti-doping investigation into world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko by forging documents to explain missed tests.
Half of the fine was due on July 1, as well as $1.31 million (£1 million/€1.1 million) in various costs.
The remaining half of the fine had been suspended for two years.
RusAF had asked for an extension after claiming that it does not have the funds available.
Ganus believes the latest setback in the long-running crisis could lead to World Athletics taking the decision to expel RusAF.
"This is a precedent, and I’m sure that World Athletics sees it as a challenge, and they accepted it," Ganus told Russia’s official state news agency TASS.
"World Athletics is now thinking about what will happen if another athletics federation behaves in the same way.
"The precedent will not respond properly, confusion and vacillations will begin within the association.
"Therefore, they will be extremely tough in their decision, and these decisions will be indicative for the whole world.
"The work to provide Russian athletes with neutral status has already been stopped.
"Then a council meeting will take place, and there is a high probability that it will decide on the complete exclusion of RusAF from World Athletics.”
World Athletics will hold its next Council meeting on July 29 and 30.
The fate of RusAF will again be one of the central topics for the governing body, which initially suspended the association back in 2015.
The suspension has since been extended more than a dozen times.
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Просто руки опускаются. Гребаный стыд,почти 5 лет, а мы снова на том же месте🤦🏼♀️ Пожалуйста, идите лесом все, кто считает, что «ничего страшного, этот сезон не важен». Важен. И этот, и прошлый зимний и будущий зимний. Иногда, а иногда очень сильно просто хочется стряхнуть с себя всю эту грязь, в которую нас макают без конца, уйти в закат и никогда больше не иметь ничего общего с этим спортом. Кто-то даже над этим позлорадствует, а может и порадуется, но сейчас не об этом. Просто тут же появляется один большой вопрос: а кто ты без своего дела, на которое убил большую часть своей жизни? Кто ты без легкой атлетики? Кто ты без своей работы? Это же не только обо мне и не только о спортсменах (особенно советую порассуждать на эту тему людям, которые постоянно отправляют нас на завод работать😉) Похоже, что пришло время и мне подумать над этим вопросом. Возможно тогда всё будет восприниматься по-другому. Ну по крайней мере, я на это надеюсь🤞🏼 #roadtosomewhere 📸 @iamzykova
World Athletics has stood down its taskforce, which is overseeing the country's reinstatement, and has halted the work of the Doping Review Board (DRB), which decides which Russians can compete with neutral (ANA) status, after RusAF missed the deadline.
World Athletics had imposed an ANA cap of 10 athletes for major events, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on Russia when it resumed the process in March and announced the fine.
Former 110 metres hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov, reigning pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova and three-time high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene were among eight athletes approved for ANA status.
The trio last month wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to intervene to ensure the fine was paid to World Athletics.
Lasitskene has said she is considering leaving the national team following the failure of RusAF to meet the deadline imposed by World Athletics.
"In today's conditions, it is impossible to exclude any option for my further actions, including leaving the national team," she said, according to TASS.
"I’m tired of the lawlessness that has been happening over the past five years, the impunity and inaction of the leaders of our sport who are not properly protecting clean athletes.”
Sidorova also expressed frustration with the lack of progress in a post on Instagram.
"Sometimes, and sometimes very much, I just want to shake off all this dirt, into which we are dipped endlessly, go into the sunset and never have anything to do with this sport again,” she wrote.
"Someone will even gloat over this, and maybe rejoice, but now is not about that.
"Just then one big question appears: Who are you without your business, for which you killed most of your life?
"Who are you without athletics?
"Who are you without your job?
"This is not only about me and not only about athletes."